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North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

NC's Brunswick Islands.

The Challenge

In the spring of 2013, the Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority (BCTDA) began its search for a new marketing agency. Its goal was to incorporate fresh marketing strategies to drive tourism and regain visitation lost in a down economy.


Digital Marketing

Upon engagement, Walker Marketing’s foremost priority was to repair a new website with an extensive custom-built, back-end web application designed to function as the organization’s proprietary lead management system. Within 30 days, a technical team reconstructed major areas of the website in order to accurately collect and track leads. With attention focused on conversion strategies, an enterprise-level reporting system was established to measure results and website performance against key performance indicators.

Search Engine Optimization (SEM/SEO)

Walker Marketing’s digital strategists rebuilt AdWord campaigns to increase click-through and conversion rates as well as lift ad position for competitive keywords. Additionally, on-page SEO enhancements helped elevate search engine position for non-branded keywords while reducing AdWord costs due to improved quality scores.


Print and media strategies were evaluated for historical performance and re-engaged to achieve lead generation goals more efficiently while incorporating new ways to promote golf and wedding segments. Golf- and wedding-specific messaging was developed to highlight the destination’s assets and attributes in niche markets. Advertising through state-sponsored partner programs leveraged opportunities for maximum reach in national publications.

New venues and channels such as mobile advertising were tested to gain insight into the value of responsive marketing, and brand messaging was fine-tuned to work across new platforms.

Email Marketing

Email marketing was underperforming as a result of an aging email database. Walker Marketing implemented list hygiene cleansing strategies, message strategies and A/B testing to improve performance. As a result, open rates were lifted from 4 percent to 45 percent in one month and email costs were reduced by half. A/B testing on key website landing pages was also conducted to improve user experience for optimum results and increased vacation guide requests.

The Result

Improved website functionality, email marketing, digital advertising and search engine optimization efforts combined delivered measurable results to the Brunswick Islands within the first six months of the client-agency partnership.

Today, Walker Marketing continues to partner with the organization to execute an integrated digital marketing strategy that provides measurable performance across the board. Through agile marketing processes, we’re able to closely monitor changes in web performance and lead generation, and continually make adjustments that lead to tangible results.